Minimum Wage In Ontario Will Rise To $ 16.55 Per Hour On October 1, 2023

On October 1, 2023, the general minimum wage rate that applies to most provincially-regulated employees in Ontario will increase from $15.50 to $16.55 per hour.

The minimum wage rates for students, liquor servers, hunting and fishing guides, wilderness guides and homeworkers in Ontario will also increase on October 1, 2023. The Ontario Ministry of Labour has posted a list of these increased rates on its website.

Provincially-regulated employers in Ontario who are paying their employees the minimum wage should:

  • take steps to ensure their payroll records are updated effective October 1, 2023, to reflect the increased rates. If the October 1 change occurs partway through a pay period, an employer will need to treat the pay period as if it were two distinct periods and the employee must receive at least the minimum wage that applies in each of those periods; and
  • consider whether this increase in labour costs will impact budgeting, scheduling or staffing needs, and plan accordingly.

Are you a Mainstay client? – If so, you’re invited to an employee benefits seminar

I founded Canadian Group Insurance Brokers (CGIB) as an association dedicated to educating employee benefit advisors, across the country.  Along the way, the group has grown to included insurers, TPA’s, and other providers in the group insurance space. Since 2009 we have produced over 70 educational events with hundreds of speakers, ranging in size from workshops of 40 to seminars with over 350 in attendance, all while garnering rave reviews.

As these events have grown, many employers have indicated an interest in attending these full-day educational events.  The feedback from clients is that they love to be the “fly on the wall” in the event and hear what only advisors would generally get to hear. Would you like to be that fly?

Our next seminar is on November 8th and located in Vaughan (near Hwy’s 407 and 400) and the details are all here…

If you are an existing or prospective client, and and are interested in attending, please drop me an e-mail and I’ll book you a spot (at my cost).

New Boxes added to the T4 & T4A slips for National Dental Plan

The new National Dental Plan is becoming a reality.

The program is expected to launch later this year, with coverage for kids under the age of 18, people with disabilities and seniors.  Initially, this will program will benefit families with net annual incomes below $90,000 and NO private coverage of any kind.

Sun Life has been awarded the project to get things started.  READ MORE HERE

Most employers will not make changes, as private plans are likely to provide far superior coverage to the federal plan.  that said, clients that have dental plans will need to report the fact on T-4’s each year.

The article for payroll Company Knit People provides a good summary.

To support the implementation of the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP), the 2023 Budget Implementation Act includes legislative updates to permit its effective administration of the Dental Care Measures Act.

The Dental Care Measures Act will permit the collection of Social Insurance Numbers from applicants and require the reporting of employer-provided dental coverage via T4 and T4A tax slips.

The legislation requires employers to report on a tax slip whether an employee, former employee, or a spouse of a deceased employee was eligible on December 31 of the reporting tax year, to access dental insurance or dental coverage of any kind, due to current or former employment.

This includes access to ongoing (not one-time occurrence/exceptional) dental care coverage, reimbursement, or insurance as an employee or retiree benefit. Whether or not an individual made use of, or accepted coverage/insurance is not reported. Reporting covers only whether or not it was available to them.

Employers may include Pension Plan Administrators and other organizations that complete T4As and T4s annually.

This reporting requirement will be mandatory beginning with the 2023 tax year reporting cycle, and will continue to be required on an annual basis.As a result, the following new boxes will be added to the T4 and T4A slips for the 2023 tax year along with specific codes:

T4 Box 45: Employer-Offered Dental Benefits
T4A Box 015: Payer-Offered Dental Benefits

Code 1 – No access to any dental care insurance, or coverage of dental services of any kind.
Code 2 – Access to any dental care insurance, or coverage of dental services of any kind for only the payee.
Code 3 – Access to any dental care insurance, or coverage of dental services of any kind for payee, spouse and dependants.
Code 4 – Access to any dental care insurance, or coverage of dental services of any kind for only the payee and their spouse.
Code 5 – Access to any dental care insurance, or coverage of dental services of any kind for only the payee and dependants.

Ontario Employers – File Your Accessibility Compliance Report by December 31, 2023

If you are an Ontario employer with over 20 employees, you are required to file before the end of the year.  The article below was a good reminder for me.

The government site explains the requirements for firms of ALL sizes.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) is a law that sets out a process for developing and enforcing accessibility standards. Under AODA, accessibility standards have been created that organizations must follow.

To ensure employers in Ontario have met current accessibility requirements under AODA, a compliance report must be filed periodically.

If you are a business or non-profit organization with 20 or more employees in Ontario, you must file an accessibility compliance report every 3 years.
If you are a designated public sector organization you must file an accessibility compliance report every 2 years.

The deadline to file in both cases is December 31, 2023.


The Employer’s Right To Request Medical Documentation

A good article indicating the responsibilities of employers and employees in obtaining and providing medical information around absences.  If in doubt, reach out to us, an HR consultant, and/or employment lawyer, especially in the messier situations.

“In the post-pandemic era, employees and employers alike are more cognizant of the importance of keeping sick workers home to contain and prevent the spread of illness. In addition, employers should be keenly aware of their duty to make diligent efforts to accommodate employees with disabilities, which may include providing additional time off or permitting the taking of unpaid leave.

At the same time, chronic and excessive absences can have a significant impact on workplace operations, and may detrimentally affect employers’ bottom lines. As such, employers have a legitimate interest in counteracting chronic absenteeism and ensuring that healthy workers attend work, and only those employees who are actually unable to work due to illness or disability are granted leave or other benefits.

To ensure employees are taking sick leave or benefits for a bona fide reason, arbitrators have held that employers have the right to inquire into absences from work and employees have a continuing obligation to account for their absence, including absences due to illness. Employees have the obligation to provide their employers with “sufficient proof” that their absence was a result of illness or injury. Once an employee provides with the requisite proof of illness or injury, the right to the leave or other benefits is guaranteed….”

FREE – Women’s Mental Health Program

I received this offer from GreenShield and thought it should be shared.

If you, or a woman you know, needs some help, please pass this along.  There is no cost (for the offer below). Although not a substitute for long term counselling, it may be a great start for those that do not have benefit plan with paramedical benefits, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or a Mental Health HSA.

When you sign up for GreenShield Cares’ Women’s Mental Health Program, you’ll receive two free hours of culturally sensitive talk therapy sessions and a complimentary subscription to online coach-assisted therapy (iCBT). We know that one-size therapy does not fit all. Talking to someone who understands unique needs of women – especially those from marginalized and/or racialized communities ­– can be immensely helpful for one’s healing journey.

Our program offers a personalized counselling matching tool with over 50 matching options, including culture, race, language, and religion, to ensure you can find a mental health professional who shares and/or can relate to your identity and lived experiences. Hundreds of our certified practitioners identify as a person of colour, Indigenous or Black so you can find the support that’s right for you.

I need your assistance…please read below

I am requesting that all my clients support this initiative.

I’ve taken on many challenges to improve the industry for our clients and their employees (Such as the Maternity Leave, the NEM initiative, the EAP Integration projects and more).  This time one of my Canadian group insurance Broker Members is doing something even more worthy of our support.  Gavin Mosley identified an important gap that occurs and needs to be corrected. 

I am asking my clients and their employees (if willing) to please sign & share his petition to make this positive change.

A Call to Action

There is a major problem with how Canadian group Dependent Life insurance contracts define eligible children, and it is time to come together as industry stakeholders to ensure we properly take care of young families.

It’s time to bring outdated legacy definitions up to modern standards, and to ensure that no one in the Canadian insurance industry going forward should ever need verify the number of hours or days lived to determine if an infant death qualifies for coverage under a Dependent Life benefit. We can do better.

Ontario Employers, Take Note if you use Temporary Help Agencies and Recruiters

I just received this notice and thought it may be of interest if you use recruiters or temporary help / staffing firms.

In short… These firms need to be licensed effective January 1, 2024.  To be safe, make sure any you work with are licensed.

Ontario Regulation 99/23 Licensing – Temporary Help Agencies and Recruiters under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) came into force July 1, 2023.

Generally speaking, the Regulation establishes a system for the licensing of temporary help agencies and recruiters in Ontario. To implement the system, the legislation will be rolled out in two parts: 

  1. Effective July 1, 2023, temporary help agencies and recruiters will be able to submit their licensing application. A fee of $750 and is payable at the time the application is submitted and must be submitted by no later then December 31, 2023.
  2. Effective January 1, 2024, temporary help agencies and recruiters will not be permitted to operate unless they hold such license, and it will be considered a violation of the ESA to knowingly use a temporary help agency or recruiter who does not hold a license.

A “recruiter” is defined as any person who, for a fee, finds, or attempts to find, employment in Ontario for prospective employees or any person who, for a fee, finds, or attempts to find, employees for prospective employers in Ontario.

A “temporary help agency” means an employer that employs persons for the purpose of assigning them to perform work on a temporary basis for clients of the employer.

Two other Ontario Regulations have been amended in respect to the above:

  • Ontario Regulation 288/01: Termination and Severance of Employment has been amended to include that if employment is terminated because the Director has refused to issue or renew, or has revoked or suspended, a license to operate a temporary help agency or a licence to act as a recruiter, the contract of employment has not become impossible to perform or been frustrated by a fortuitous or unforeseeable event or circumstance
  • Ontario Regulation 289/01: Penalties and Reciprocal Enforcement has been amended to include the penalties for violating the ESA with respect to the new rules.

Come January 1, 2024, it will be imperative for businesses to ensure they are engaging with temporary help agencies and recruiters who are licensed in accordance with the new rules. To assist employers, the Ministry of Labour will publish a public record of information with respect to licensing.

As always, if you have any questions regarding a specific situation, please do not hesitate to reach out to speak with an e2r™ Advisor.


Webinar – Thursday June 29th, 2023 from 1-2pm

As a member of CFIB, I often get e-mails about the products and service they offer small business.  This one caught my eye and thought it might be of interest to clients.  It appears that non-members can attend by using GUEST at the registration as noted.

If you are interested but can’t attend? Register and you’ll receive a link to the recorded webinar.

Employee Management Series 1:  Hiring? Let us help you get started.

As an employer, one of your many roles is finding the right people for your business. In this multi-part series, we’ll begin by exploring the hiring process.

Join us for this important session and learn how to best position yourself in this tight labour market:

– Learn the value of a clear and compelling job ad and how to create a competitive compensation package that candidates want.
– Discover where to post your ad to best connect you with candidates.
– Learn how to think outside the box to access a larger labour pool.
– Choose the best candidate to fit your needs and learn why a solid employment contract is a must.

Thursday, June 29, 2023      1pm – 2pm ET   (10am – 11am PT)
Register now

Disability Accommodation In The Workplace: What Are Your Responsibilities As An Employer? (Video)

As an employer, you have a legal obligation to accommodate employees with disabilities.

This webinar walks you through what constitutes a disability, as well as best practices for handling accommodation requests.

Topics will include:

  • What medical information may an employer request
  • How to communicate with employees regarding disability accommodation
  • Can an employer ever prove undue hardship

Our panel of Employment Labour & Equalities Law professionals answer these questions, and provide insight into how you can create a safe, accommodating environment in your workplace.


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